This Summer

WOOHOOO!  I’m officially on summer break for the next month and a half and I’m. so. excited!  And while I thought that time off work would mean more time for sewing and crafting, I was terribly mistaken!  I seriously thought it would be a great time to catch up on neglected projects and tackle a few big ones that I’ve had on my list for awhile.  But somehow we’ve managed to completely fill the next month and a half with 4 trips (big and small), which means very very little sewing/blogging.  But I’m not complaining!  We have some awesome adventures lined up and you’ll be hearing all about them.

While we’re talking about traveling, one of the trips we’ll be taking is to Japan.  It’s a big family gathering for Hideko’s side of the family and a pretty short and tightly packed trip.  While we’re excited that we’ll get to bring Yuki to Japan, we’re also really nervous about traveling with an almost 2 year old.  The flights are about 10-11 hours, plus there will be shorter domestic flights and lots of train rides, etc.  So here is where I was hoping you all could help out.  What have your experiences been traveling with a toddler?  Any suggestions regarding long flights, jet lag, foreign places?  I know that you probably have some amazing ideas and since this will be our first time taking Yuki abroad, we could really use some help!

One thing I’ve heard is bringing lots of snacks for the plane and new toys/activities.  Since Yuki has become a huge eater, I think having an arsenal of never ending food will be key.  I’m going to be borrowing an iPad for the flights, which I’m hoping will be pretty intriguing to her.  Any must have apps for a 2 year old?  I’ve also started brainstorming some fun and engaging activities, games and toys for the plane, but I could certainly use more.

A specific concern that I have is that Yuki has recently started to YELL. REALLY LOUDLY.  Not necessarily when she’s upset (though she has her tantrums too) – she yells when she’s excited, or bored, and wants attention.  And when I tell her firmly that it is too loud and not ok, she does it even more.  And when I completely ignore her and try not to give her attention, she does it even more.  I’m particularly nervous about this because of the plane rides and being on the trains in Japan (where people are very quiet!).  Anyways, I realize this is a whole different issue, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this as well.

So I apologize if the blog feels a bit empty in the coming weeks.  It’s not that I don’t love you – I’ll be thinking of you every step of the way!  Hehe 😛  I do have a few guest posts coming up still and I hope to be able to share some of my adventures and smaller projects with you.  I hope you have some fun things planned for your summer too!

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22 thoughts on “This Summer

  1. Have a great trip, or trips as it is. I think traveling with a little one you just have to go with the flow & try not to let things get to you too much (& have a good sense of humor).

  2. So excited for your trips!!! Some things that have helped us travel with Ansley (who is not fond of traveling or being confined or being quiet ha) are: snacks (lots of new ones too- I have friends who wrap them up individually b/c unwrapping takes a few minutes), dvds (new ones and favorites- she was really into Curious George for a while and now she’s obsessed with Mickey Mouse), a small comfort item (lovey or little blanket or pacifier or whatever), and comfortable clothes (though I’ve found if she’s dressed cuter people are nicer- won’t be a problem for you with her darling wardrobe!). Things that have helped me: bringing a stroller we didn’t care about to the airport (bought ours at a garage sale and it got pretty beat up on the trip. Strollers are awesome b/c she has her own place to sit and you can move through the airports a lot faster than walking), having less carry-ons/more checked bags (I hate paying to check bags but it’s totally worth it to not be dragging around my own luggage plus all of Ansley’s things plus her. I like to have extra diapers/wipes/change of clothes for Ansley too), and dramamine b/c I get sick every time I fly. Tiffany from Simply Modern Mom has some great ideas too: http://www.simplymodernmom.com/2010/04/children-traveling-tips-flying-internationally/ http://www.simplymodernmom.com/2010/03/traveling-tips-for-children-flying-domestically/

    • Emily, these were all awesome and helpful suggestions! Thank you! I also dread all the stuff we’re going to have to carry between Yuki, her stuff and our stuff. And thanks for the link!

  3. Triangle Crayons – they won’t roll off tray-tables in the airplane.
    New ‘Prizes’ (toys) – wrap them up individually to give out at needed times. (i.e. – toy car, wrapped in tin foil, wrapped in rubber-bands, placed in small box, wrapped in newspaper – the idea is to keep her occupied by the unwrapping longer, then the toy is that much more exciting! – and you can reuse the wrapping along the way) – might have to be done at airport or on the plane due to TSA guidelines.
    Crayola Mess-Free Markers: http://www.crayola.com/browse-products/my-first-crayola-marker-and-paper.aspx
    Home Depot carries a line of Disney paint, and the paint chip samples are shaped like a silhouette of Mickey Mouse. If you grab a few of those in the colors of the rainbow, you have instant color flash cards.

    • Awesome! I’ve heard of the triangle crayons – I’ll have to get my hands on some. Thanks for all the suggestions! Love the flash card idea – entertaining and educational!

  4. The hardest thing is if Yuki’s ears give her trouble on the plane. Depending on your approach, you can either give her plenty of things to suck or chew on during takeoff and landing, (Sucking in particular helps equalise the pressure.) or, you can give her a dose of something to keep her sinuses clear about an hour before the flight and again in the middle. In Australia we have demazin syrup but I don’t know whether that’s just a local brand name.
    Have a wonderful trip.

    • Oooh, yes, I’ve heard about chewing so I was going to get some gummy snacks, but I didn’t know sucking was better. I’ll look into it – thanks!!

  5. I’m planning similar sorts of ‘distract and keep quiet’ strategies for my little girl who is 22 months for when her little sister arrives in a few weeks’ time! A few things are springing to mind that might be helpful in your case:

    a) I’m thinking the bento boxes that are so popular at Japanese train stations etc might be a hit (if Yuki eats Japanese food?) I loved them when we were there – perfect little snacks etc.

    b) if you have an iPad at your disposal, maybe put together a bunch of albums for her to look through. My daughter loves looking at photos and videos of her as a baby, as well as family members. This is good because it takes up no extra space.

    c) Even though they’re messy, I found lollipops to be a big time waster for my little one when we flew with her recently. She kept quiet too! She never, ever eats candy, so I was okay with this for an exception. Little containers of raisins were a hit as well.

    d) I know this might be a little controversial, but if I was taking my little one on an overseas flight, I’d probably consider a mild sedative: she really struggles to sleep outside of her bed. In Australia, parents use a mild antihistamine called Phenergen. I’d give it a go before I left the country though, just in case it backfires and sends her more hyper!

  6. Hi Cherie! I have two daughters and took one of them back to England where my husband’s home country when she was 2 years old. It was about 13 hours flight including one transfer, and it was not too bad… tiring, of course. I suggest bring some new toys such as drawing materials, sticker books and puzzles. She can watch kids movies or shows with airplane TV. There are a lot of kinds on TV now so you don’t need to worry about it so much. She will definitely want to walk around, so just let her do it. Don’t worry about people around, because they will understand the situation and even enjoy watching her playing around.

    You are worried about taking train rides in Japan, but no worries! In Japan, most people use public transportation, and so many people use trains and buses with their babies and toddlers. It’s same in any countries, toddlers are noisy and they don’t sit still for a longer time. Japanese people are used to it. It’s usually very quiet in the trains and buses, but kids are noisy and mothers don’t worry so much about it. YOU will be fine too! I bet Yuki will really enjoying taking trains over here.

    Are you planning to visit Kobe or Osaka as well? I haven’t seen Hideko, Keiko and Kako obachan for a long time, and really would like to see you all!

  7. When she is yelling try to whisper to her. She’ll have to make effort to heat you, and she will quiet down. Or you can sing to her quietly what want to say to her. Only problem whit this trick is it works only once or twice.

  8. Oh, we’re heading over from AU to the UK later this year and will totally be doing the phenergen. 24 hours? Call me crazy but I’d prefer to be sedated for the trip. Well worth the trip, my brother-in-law was one of the 2% that the sedative had the opposite effect, as they found out when he was a toddler. ON THE PLANE.

    There are plenty of drawing apps, that might be a winner?

  9. Flying with my son when he was 19 months old, I realized how interested he was in my magazines. At home they were usually off-limits, but he loved being able to sit on my lap on the airplane and looking through them. I would describe what I saw on each page and he could point and say the words for things he knew. He especially liked Parents magazine, probably because there were lots of kids in it. The magazines were perfect because there were tons of pages and pictures and they could be tossed in the recycle when we were done with them. Have a fun trip!

  10. Hi Cherie,
    I traveled with my daughter to Hawaii right before she turned two. We had plenty of new toys, one of which was a doodle sketch thingy that’s like etch a sketch except there’s a writing tool. She was entertained by that. If you’re not opposed to tv, we had a dvd player with some of her favorite videos. Don’t know if you can help it but try to schedule her flight when she sleeps. My daughter slept a lot on the way there and back. Also, ask the flight attendant if they have any coloring books or other things for kids. Our flight attendant offered a coloring book which also entertained my daughter for a long time. I was worried before the trip but it really worked out great. Japan sounds lovely. Have a wonderful trip!

  11. We have traveled a lot with little ones and here are our tips: – Use an small umbrella stroller or child-carrier-backpack and not a full sized stroller. -The small wrapped treat that was suggested is great. We usually give them out at regular intervals. -Give her a small backpack that she can wear. That age loves to have their own stuff for the trip. -Save the movies/dvds until you really need them. If you use them too early, it can back-fire.

  12. When I was a kid we lived in the Middle East and my parents travelled with my two siblings and me A LOT. They gave us each a little canvas suitcase (each a different colour) which was filled with wrapped toys and craft supplies (some new but also toys or things we hadn’t played with in a while). We were allowed to unwrap a new package, I think every hour or half an hour starting in the plane (that made the car ride to the airport exciting because we could shake the suitcases and try and guess what was in them). We each had a walkman with music cassettes as well as stories to listen to too. Another cool plaything is a little chalkboard with a little cloth attached or an “Etch-and-Sketch” which van provide hours of entertainment. You could also laminate a map and let her use a felt-tip to mark how far along on the trip you are. The “Quiet books that are all over Pinterest are great too. It may be worth asking the airline if there are restrictions on what you can bring.
    We also did a lot of “preparation” beforehand: looking at our children’s atlas and globe, reading books about planes and airports and looking at photos of the people and places we were planning to visit.
    I hope that helps and you guys have a fantastic trip!

  13. My little grandson is going to be three in a month so I am familiar with the twos..looking back over the year I had purchased a coloring book that also had stickers in it. He loved the stickers. So OKAY! Grandma went and bought lots of stickers and sticker books. If Yuki has not played with stickers yet this will most likely fascinate her for a little while. Get stickers and just plain white paper to put them on …
    MudPuppy makes some nice young children’s puzzles…you can find them on Amazon
    VINYL playset books..again shop on Amazon since there’s a large selection. We had one where you put furniture and toys into a room or something. They wear out after use but hey this is just for plane rides
    PLaydoh ( JUST kidding 🙂
    of course books and at this age they are fascinated with the pop up picture kind …

    Maybe some sort of little flannel board and felt shapes ( we had a thomas the train flannel set that I’d picked up at a garage sales and brent loved it ) You sew so you could just cut some things out yourself or something

    Sewing cards…where they do the shoelaces through the card holes
    Whatever you end up getting /taking, I would not have her play with it in Japan so that it seems ‘new’ and special again on the trip back

    Glow stick or bracelet or little flashlight…kids love that stuff and you can throw a blanket over yourselves for the light to show

    OH ! I have a picture of this CHerry Chomper Cherry Pitter on my blog but just google that on Amazon…seriously if you take snacks, and can take some cherries, this is a toy cherry pitter and that is good for at least a half hour of amusement. Grandkids LOVED it

  14. Hi Cherie! I used to have a house in France and took my children there two times a year when they were 3 , 1, 4 and various other ages and took my little one on the Japan Thailand route once. 17 hours of hell! I always tried to take a Night flight so they would sleep a little Then bribe them to stay awake to get on schedule ASAP. They might be cranky one or two days but otherwise they will wake up at 3:30 am every day especially when going to Japan! Forget crayons as they roll off the tray and I think Yuki is a little young to watch the kids movies? Don’t worry you will be fine! Just give her some gum to chew or a pacifier or bottle when descending as the pressure can hurt the ears of little ones. Flying with kids is like having a baby. Its a drag to get there but you forget everything once you land!

  15. Pingback: Summer Journal #1 | you and mie

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